Posted For: Willie Wonka
Federal officials have revealed that an airport worker killed last month in a fatal accident was warned repeatedly about the dangers before the incident, investigations show.
On New Year’s Eve, tragedy struck the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama when an American Airlines crew member, identified as Courtney Edwards (34), was ingested into the running engine of a regional carrier plane. The accident grounded all flights at the airport for four hours and triggered an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The preliminary report for that investigation, released Monday, revealed that the plane in question had arrived at the airport carrying 63 passengers and pilots had notified airport officials that after parking, they would leave its engines running for a two minute “cool down” period, Business Insider reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board released an investigation into Courtney Edwards’ death at the airport. https://t.co/zLbefsMhfp
— MontgomeryAdvertiser (@MGMAdvertiser) January 24, 2023
Investigations show that the crew was briefed twice prior to the plane’s arrival that it shouldn’t be approached until the engines were shut down. In addition to the safety briefing, rotating beacons were illuminated on the plane as a warning that the engines were still running, the outlet reported.
American Eagle safety manuals also detail that ground crew should not go within 15 feet of the engine until the blades stop spinning.
Despite this, Edwards was reportedly almost knocked over from the exhaust of the jet before another employee warned her to stay back. Moments later, however, Edwards walked in front of one of the engines and “was subsequently pulled off her feet and into the operating engine,”according to The Montgomery Advertiser.
“Immediately thereafter, [the pilot] saw a warning light illuminate and the airplane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown of the number 1 engine,” the report stated per the Montgomery Advertiser. “Unsure of what had occurred, he extinguished the emergency lights and shut off both batteries before leaving the flight deck to investigate.”
Edwards left behind three children and is survived by her mother. Nearly $100,000 has been raised to help with funeral expenses and child care since the accident through GoFundMe.